Hey, the Phillies Have a Winning Record

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

When Jeanmar Gómez struck out Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning last night, the Phillies got something they hadn’t had in a really long time: A winning record.

The Phillies lost 99 games last year, but they actually started last season 3-2. But the last time they were over .500 this late in the season was early May 2014, when they were 15-14. Read more »

The Phillies Batted the Pitcher 8th Last Night

Jeremy Hellickson batting 8th

The Phillies won last night on a walkoff single in the 11th inning, with Peter Bourjos driving home Freddy Galvis to salvage one game in a three-game series against the Mets.

Bourjos was in that position last night because the Phillies did something they hadn’t done in nearly 40 years: Last night, manager Pete Mackanin batted the pitcher 8th. Per beat writer Matt Gelb, it was the fist time since June 1, 1979, that the Phillies batted the pitcher 8th. Read more »

WATCH: The Phillie Phanatic Faces Off Against Tommy Laswordfish

The Phillies won on a walk-off single by Freddy Galvis in the 10th inning yesterday, beating former closer Jonathan Papelbon. The 3-2 win over the Nationals was exciting, for sure, but up to that point the highlight of the Phillies’ game yesterday was the team’s annual promotion celebrating the Phillie Phanatic’s birthday.

Before the game, the Phillies trotted out a murderer’s row of mascots, including Swoop from the Eagles, Franklin from the Sixers, a bunch of college mascots (Hooter the Owl, the Hawk, Will D. Cat, the Quaker, the La Salle Explorer, et cetera), a few minor league affiliates, the ZOOperstars (a bunch of inflatable mascots that parody famous athletes, such as Stallion Iverson) and the Galapagos Gang (four inflatable mascots that often join the Phanatic at the ballpark nowadays). Read more »

Vincent Velasquez Absolutely Dazzles in Just Second Start with Phillies

Vince Velasquez reacts after striking out Wil Myers to end the Phillies 3-0 victory over the Padres on Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Vincent Velasquez reacts after striking out Wil Myers to end the Phillies 3-0 victory over the Padres on Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Philadelphia.

In just his second start with the Phillies, Vincent Velasquez turned in one of the best pitching performances in team history.

Velasquez pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out 16. He did not walk a batter; only one reached scoring position all game.

The Phillies won, 3-0, backed by a Ryan Howard home run and a sacrifice fly. Andres Blanco also scored on a wild pitch in the 7th. Read more »

Phillies’ Reliever Suspended for 80 Games for PED Use

Daniel Stumpf pitches during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field on March 25th.

Daniel Stumpf pitches during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field on March 25th.

Nine games into the season and the Phillies have already had a player test positive for steroids.

It’s not someone you know very well: Daniel Stumpf, a reliever the Phillies acquired with a Rule 5 draft pick this offseason, tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid. He was suspended for 80 games without pay. The Good Phight notes it’s the same steroid used by the East German olympic team.

The East Germans, under State Plan 14.25, fed its athletes performance-enhancing drugs for decades in order to improve their performance at the Olympics and other international competitions. Presumably, Stumpf didn’t go to Germany go get this stuff. Read more »

Paul McCartney to Play Citizens Bank Park This Summer

Last night at the Phillies game, the team kept playing Paul McCartney songs. “Back in the USSR,” “Band on the Run”, “Day Tripper”, “Drive My Car.” And that was just in the first two innings. We had to search Twitter to make sure Paul McCartney hadn’t died and this was a tribute.

Fortunately, Sir Paul McCartney is still alive. But the playlist at the game last night was intentional: Today, the Phillies and McCartney announced he will play Citizens Bank Park on July 12th. Read more »

Hey, the Phillies Are Going to Be Fun Again This Year

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

You should be excited about the Phillies this season.

The Phils open their season today at 4:10 in Cincinnati against the Reds. They are not expected to be good. One projection system says they will lose 90-plus games again.

But, things will be better. It’s not just that the Phillies probably won’t lose 99 games again. The team seems to be on the upswing. Most of the players are new; the only holdovers from the World Series team are Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard. The only holdover from last year’s opening day pitching staff is Jeanmar Gomez, a reliever who pitched in 65 games for the Phils in 2015.

It’s going to be a weird season. Today’s Opening Day starter is Jeremy Hellickson, the 2011 Rookie of the Year with Tampa Bay who has struggled the last three seasons. The Phillies acquired him, per multiple reports, in the hopes he’d bounce back so they could trade him for prospects in July. It’s Opening Day, and the Phillies are already showcasing for scouts. Read more »

IronPigs to Wear Phillies-Style Powder Blue Jerseys on Sundays

Lehigh Valley IronPigs powder blue jerseys

Photo courtesy Lehigh Valley IronPigs

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are turning back the clock this year — on Sundays, at least.

Today, the Phillies’ AAA minor league affiliate announced a “historic agreement” with Majestic that makes it the first minor league baseball team to don “the same revolutionary Flex Base uniform system” that major league players wear. (I’ll go with Magna Carta, Treaty of Paris and this Iron Pigs/Majestic thing as the three top agreements of all time.)

So, some Phillies minor leaguers will have state-of-the-art jerseys this season. Great! But, more importantly, the IronPigs introduced some alternate jerseys this year — including one that pays tribute to the powder blues worn by the Phillies in the 1970s and ’80s. Read more »

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